Heart of Scotland Forest Partnership welcomes new member
Garth Wood Wilding Project joins collaboration to create a thriving woodland corridor in Highland Perthshire
In early September the Heart of Scotland Forest Partnership (HoSFP) welcomed the Garth Wood Wilding Project as the latest member of a collaboration to create a wild wood in Highland Perthshire. Garth Wood neighbours the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Keltneyburn Reserve and will extend the HoSFP’s planned woodland corridor to the west of the reserve.
Owners Emma Kareno and Henning Hoeber plan to restore their 70 acre mature conifer plantation to native woodland. The process will start at the end of 2018, when most of the plantation will have been felled paving the way for the beginnings of their re-wilding project.
Emma and Henning are planting some 24,000 trees in the site – the majority of which will be a mix of native broadleaf and Scots pine. They are even hoping to extend the woodland on to the open hill through the development of a montane scrub habitat. Emma’s already growing juniper seeds in her garden which will go higher up the hill when they’re ready to be planted, kick-starting this upland habitat.
The felling of the conifer plantation began at the beginning of summer and a large area of the site is due to be deer fenced before planting begins, ensuring the best possible conditions for the new trees. A site visit after a recent HoSFP meeting revealed rowan, oak and hazel regeneration already emerging from the brash left from the recent felling operations.
Ultimately, the Garth Wood Wilding Project is not exclusively for the benefit of Emma and Henning who are under no illusions that they will see the full benefit of their efforts. They see the wood as their legacy, providing a wild space that can be enjoyed in the near and distant future by people and wildlife alike. Their vision is to: "support and increase biodiversity and ensure a safe and prosperous future for Garth Wood."
The HoSFP extends a warm welcome to Emma and Henning and we look forward to seeing the positive results of their hard work.
Photos by Isobel Filor show: (top) Garth Wood plantation felling taking place and (above) the Trust's Schiehallion manager Liz Auty welcoming Emma Kareno and the Garth Wood Wilding Project to the Heart of Scotland Forest Partnership.